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USDA Touts Beef Trade Expansion--But Are Ranchers Getting the Whole Story?


The US Department of Agriculture has been touting the recent expansion of the meat trade in the US. But the agency has only been highlighting the positives of the trade increase. As The Rural Blog reports, the nation has been importing more beef than it exports in recent months. In a recent column, two professors from the University of Tennessee said they understand that the USDA may want to put a positive spin on the situation. But they believe the USDA is doing farmers and ranchers a disservice.

Professors Harwood Schaffer and Darryl Ray lamented that some beef producers may follow the federal government’s lead in promoting the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement without being given all the facts.

Schaffer and Ray concluded that the USDA “should be expected to discuss both sides of the trade equation, even when the numbers may not be to the liking of US producers.”